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Connecticut Becomes 22nd State to Make Cocktails To-Go Permanent

Governor Ned Lamont signed H.B. 6548, legislation to allow cocktails to-go from restaurants and bars permanently on June 11, making Connecticut the 22nd state to make cocktails to-go permanent. Connecticut’s cocktails to-go measure was set to expire in June of 2024. “Connecticut consumers can now enjoy the added convenience of cocktails to-go on a permanent basis,” said Emily Smith, Vice President of State Public Policy, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. “Not only do cocktails to-go afford adult consumers the ability to take home their favorite hand-crafted cocktails, but they help support local hospitality businesses facing economic hardships. We applaud Governor Lamont and the Legislature for making cocktails to-go permanent in support of Connecticut’s consumers and businesses.”

“At the height of the pandemic, Governor Lamont took action to help restaurants by giving them the opportunity to safely sell alcohol with their to go food orders. This was a simple, common-sense change that meant a great deal to our industry, and we appreciate the General Assembly for now making it a permanent law in Connecticut,” said Scott Dolch, President and CEO, Connecticut Restaurant Association. “This policy allows for greater convenience for Connecticut customers as well as increased revenue for local restaurants, the vast majority of which are small businesses. Those business owners made their voices heard in order to advocate for this change, and we appreciate our partners in state government working with us to collectively support local businesses and local economies throughout our state.”

The new law requires any alcohol to-go to be accompanied by a food order. Delivery is allowed by a direct employee of the permittee or a third-party vendor that holds an in-state transporter’s permit. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 22 states, including Connecticut, and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to permanently allow cocktails to-go, and 11 others have enacted laws that allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis. Numerous states are still considering cocktails to-go legislation. Connecticut joins Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia have all made COVID-era cocktails to-go measures permanent.


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